High blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than 80 million Americans. Although high blood pressure is asymptomatic, it causes a lot of damage to the body. Untreated, high blood pressure can lead to strokes, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, blindness, impotence, and memory loss. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults have their blood pressure checked every 2 years.
The standard treatments for high blood pressure revolve around lifestyle changes. Exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, treatment for sleep disorders, quitting smoking, and other alterations are suggested. If lifestyle changes are ineffective in lowering blood pressure, doctors usually suggest medication. Most people find it difficult to comply with lifestyle changes, and medications always come with side effects. Medications for high blood pressure often produce effects such as dizziness and headaches.
An alternative method for treating high blood pressure is an ancient Chinese medicine approach. Chinese medicine believes that disruptions in the flow of the blood and the life force (chi) through the body are what cause diseases. If the disruptions in the flow can be relieved, the body will rapidly recover.
One method Chinese medicine uses to restore proper flow is through manipulation of key points, sometimes referred to as acupuncture points. The key points that regulate blood pressure are on the jaw and neck. Points 1 and 2 run in a line down the neck, from the earlobe to the collar bone. Point 3 is located right in front of the ear, about half an inch away from ear canal in the direction of the nose.
The vagus nerve runs down the head and neck, directly underneath these pressure points. Stimulating the vagus nerve reduces stress, lowers the heart rate, and reduces blood pressure. Doctors have been implanting special devices to stimulate the vagus nerve in order to control blood pressure in patients who haven’t responded to medication. However, a simple Chinese medicine approach can be used to stimulate the nerve via these pressure points without having to undergo painful surgery.
To stimulate these points properly, follow the following steps:
- Slowly run the fingers down Points 1 to 2
- Caress lightly- do not press or massage
- Repeat 10 times on each side
- Next, press the fingers firmly against Point 3
- Massage firmly in a counter-clockwise direction
- Continue for 1 minute on each side
Simply repeat this simple key point stimulation procedure at least once a day to reduce blood pressure. It should also be performed whenever you feel stressed or anxious, to quickly lower blood pressure.